A Model for a Steiner School


For comment

Paul Levy

 

Economic Principles

 

The School operates according to a model of income that allows it to cover ALL of its expenses and to generate a surplus that funds further development and growth as agreed by all stakeholders in the School

 

The School never borrows, either short-term in terms of cash flow, or longer term against its equity

 

Investment over and above the School’s ability to fund out of its own revenue may only take place through fund-raising

 

Whenever the School has met its own short, medium and longer term financial needs it should make a portion of its surplus available to the community in the form of donations

 

Every penny is accounted for, clearly presented to all those who need access to such information to enable professional and conscious decision-making

 

 

Social/Cultural Principles

 

The School is a community of teachers, families, associates, professional service providers, advisors, mentors and supportive friends – community through conscious collaboration is a fundamental principle

 

The College of Teachers carries the educational and spiritual wellbeing of the school whilst being fully conscious and involved in matters relating to Law, Rights and Economics

 

The School Council carries legal responsibility for the school, and is also responsible for excellent financial management which it delegates to appropriate employees within the school whilst maintaining appropriate levels and systems of reporting and communication. The School Council (and in particular, the trustees) hold the objects of the charity in trust and are responsible for ensuring the integrity of the school as a Waldorf School is upheld and developed.

 

The School operates according to the principles of Steiner Education (as laid out in its objects, constitution, and in general terms by the Steiner Schools Fellowship. It never engages is the cultivation of Anthropsophy (the body of work developed by Rudolf Steiner that underpins Steiner Education).

 

 

Legal and “Rights” Principles

 

The School upholds its right to operate freely within the law and supports the rights of staff to do so as well, where the reputation or legal status and security of the school is not compromised

 

The School is committed to equality of opportunity, meets all legal requirements from equality and diversity.

 

Decision making is consultative and built always on consensus

 

The School operates on a principle of openness where possible, upholding good practice of confidentiality where necessary

 

All procedures in the school follow recommended best practice by the Steiner Schools Fellowship, the Charity Commission and Companies House

 

The School is committed to allowing teachers to operate freely within an educational system that follows best practice guidelines of the Steiner Schools Fellowship, the legal requirements of the United Kingdom, and its own good practice procedures

 

All decisions taken in the School, at whatever level, must be communicated effectively, follow existing procedures where appropriate, and always consult those affected by the decision

 

 

Unifying Principles

 

The School Council is a strategic overview group that contains balanced representation of Trustees and The College of teachers.

 

The Trustees’ delegated Business Management Group is based on a representative grouping of The College of Teachers, Agreed delegation from Trustees and key administrators, led by the Business Manager

 

Trustees and invited Council Members are a group of people committed to the charity’s objects, with a broad mix of anthroposophical, educational and financial. managerial experience

 

The School Council is a place where policies in any of the spheres of Economic Management, Education and Spiritual Activity, and Rights and Law, are developed and then direction is set for implementation

 

Teachers needs to engage in ongoing staff development to raise their awareness of the School’s economic and legal principles, policies and procedures

 

Trustees and Administrators need to engage in ongoing development and education in the principles underlying the charity’s reason for being: the furtherance of Steiner Education

 

The Parent-Teacher’s Association and is key to tapping into the commitment and energy of parents as well as ensuring communication is of the highest quality on matters relating to Parent-Teacher/School-Family

 

The School’s Association is key to engaging all stakeholders in the school’s ongoing biography, in providing advice and energy for new developments and directions

 

The School has a history and needs to acknowledge past mistakes, learn from them and then move on from them. The school is committed always to learning from mistakes and also building on success.

 

Communication in the School is of vital importance. The school strives for excellent communication, is committed to prudent openness and in being seen as a good listener and well as a timely and competent informer.

 

 

 

6 basic financial principles

 

  1. We never borrow from financial institutions. We may engage in certain lending arrangements via borrowing communities and other developed approaches that are in harmony with the school’s underlying princinples

 

  1. We never spend what we don’t have (this includes getting out of the habit of seeing “overdrafts” – either internally or externally – as a taken-for granted

 

  1. Financial decisions are taken on three principles: necessity, transparency and fairness

 

  1. All financial transactions are accurately recorded, accessible to the appropriate people, and presented in a form that supports conscious and free understanding

 

  1. All staff must have a working level of financial awareness

 

  1. We are not a business other than in legal terms. We are a cultural/social institution that operates along three lines:

 

         we work from a position of surplus in the economic sphere (surplus allows us to generate income either from revenue or fundraising that allows us to 1. meet day to day expenses 2. invest in development)

         we work as a free institution in the social/cultural sphere

         we operate according to the law and always live and work fairly in the legal sphere

 

 

 

 

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